The closest vote by far in the last year for the Chapel Hill Town Council was the vote to authorize the manager to pursue a plan for changing all town employees to a biweekly payroll. The vote was 5-4. Around 200+ town employees have had weekly checks for years, some for the span of their whole career with the town. Last night at our budget hearing many of those employees came out and spoke against the change.
One of the interesting parts to this was the $50 gas card that was offered to employees that would switch to the biweekly in an expedited manner. I read about that in the Town of Chapel Hill employee newsletter, and had not heard about that offering in a council meeting or in any managerial email.
Some undoubtedly liked that, some really hated the idea. See the story in today’s Herald and the N&O.
I think that an option to change is the way to go. Town employees that want to have the weekly checks should keep that, and those that are willing to change to biweekly can do so. I think that the moving so many long time workers from weekly to biweekly pay can be too much of a lifestyle change, different from what they have come to expect over the years, and they have the right to continue to receive their pay as they have been used to over these years. The Town of Chapel Hill is not like every city in the nation, and it is not a corporation. At least I don’t think it is or should be. Another great thing the Town does, that the town pays greatly for, is the continuation of private health insurance after an employee retires. That is a great benefit. Many cities do not have this option for their employees. It’s just one of those things that makes us unique, and a nice place to work. All of our citizens benefit from the great work of our employees, and I certainly want to make them happy.